Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tuesday Dungeon

My lovely wife of 16 years stepped out for a bit today to have her hair done, pick up some groceries,  and visit the library ... but she should know by now that when you leave dad in charge ... THIS HAPPENS

Yeah ... it's a dungeon ... three gruesome levels of baddies to be bashed.  From back to front:

Level 1 (dining room table w/ leaf extended; Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Tiles): The blue-skinned ogre mage and his bugbear goons have aligned themselves with a dragon who watches over the middle of this level.  Interesting features include a flooded room, a caged owlbear ready to be released, an altar where fire creatures sometimes appear from level three to receive sacrifices, and a flaming oil trap that sprays from a wall.

Level 2 (folding table; tiles courtesy of Descent 1st edition along with Lair of the Wyrm expansion): a minotaur and his gnoll bully-boys hold the southern end of this level, guarding a substantial hoard of treasure.  A wight lord has been sealed into a crypt in north eastern quarter of the dungeon while the partially flooded area between is stalked by a variety of strange elemental things.

Heritage USA Dungeon Floors Tiles -vintage D&D - 9732 UNUSED UNCUT 1981Level 3 (card table in the foreground; Heritage Dungeon Floors c. 1981): the weird gets turned up as we enter the cramped confines of this smoky, crumbling level.  Riddled with pits, grates, and chasms, this level is overrun by flamesnakes and various malign elementals of the fiery persuasion, all leading up to a magic portal that grants access to the fabled City of Brass!

By dinner time our party of seven had by passed the dragon (missing all the loot) and lured the owlbear into the flaming oil trap.  So as the family ate dinner on the floor around the coffee table we made plans to descend to level two using the first stair we had discovered (there are actually three ways down, but we roll for our choices at intersections since the characters are going in blind).  By bedtime we packed up level one so that normal life could resume a bit, but half of the living room is still a groaning, tottering monster-haunted maze of stone.

This was tons of fun and kept the kids engaged for hours designing and stocking the madcap maze, talking about level-themes, placing stairs to connect levels, and considering the various "factions" on each level.

What I enjoyed most was the "fast and loose" rules style we adopted: ascending AC, +1 hit bonus per level/hit die, 1d6 for all weapons, saving throws of 15+ (+1/level or hit die) applied to a number of situations (including morale checks), ad hoc die rolls for reaction checks, etc.  All very fast, simple, and intuitive and great time with the kids as well.

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